Thursday, February 28, 2008

Goodbye, Arthur Godfrey!

On Tuesday, Norm brought a young ram lamb home that was in trouble. He had been born on Monday but was not doing well. We discovered he had a problem leg. I named him Sploge because of the sploges of color that he has.


Candy, Wayne and Jody came for supper. After much discussion and checking out, we decided that Sploge had a broken leg.

This little boy took special care, as he was so weak. I was feeding him with a syringe and feeling grateful if he drank about an eighth of a cup of formula at a time. I even added some corn syrup in the formula to give him extra strength.

By today, Thursday, he had changed dramatically. He is able to walk, three legged, and can even get up by himself if he isn’t laying on his broken leg. We are going to get it wrapped to give it strength and hopefully heal it.

I called the Farm and told them that Jody would like little Sploge and they said okay. So today Jody and Don came over to collect him. They renamed him Arthur Godfrey. He is doing very well and with his leg wrapped, which Jody and Don will do, as they have the equipment and wanted to do it, he should be able to hobble well and heal up.


Jody, Don and Arthur


Notice that he is almost the same color as the blanket!

So, another one come and gone. This one is to a great home, where he will be the foundation of Jody’s colored fleece flock (someday), and where he will be spoiled. She is already talking (joking) about taking him to obedience classes.

Goodbye, Arthur – see you soon!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


...the difference between margarine and butter? This has been going around on emails and I thought I’d share.

Both butter and margarine have the same amount of calories. Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams. Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study. Eating Butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods. Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added! Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods. Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

And now, for Margarine: it is very high in trans fatty acids, triples the risk of coronary heart disease, increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol). It increases the risk of cancers up to five fold and lowers quality of breast milk. Margarine decreases immune response and decreases insulin response.

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC...

You can try this yourself: purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things:
· No flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something)
· It does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value
Nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny weenie microorganisms will not a find a home to grow.

Why? Because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?

I haven’t had margarine, for the most part, since 1972. Our family was raised with margarine (calling it “butter”) and I hated it – I refused to eat it unless it was melted so I couldn’t taste it as much. I would not eat a sandwich that had “butter” on it. When we moved to Australia, they did not have margarine, only “real” butter. I discovered the difference and found that I liked sandwiches with butter on them. Since then, I have stuck with butter; if I had to buy it, I didn’t mind the price difference between the butter and margarine. If I had the chance, I would make my own (as when I had a cow and therefore had milk, cream and butter).

This email came to me from my brother, who also sent it to our sister. Candy told me that she firmly believes that my good luck with heart problems stems from butter. She has had margarine in her home until just a few years ago. My brother has had margarine in his house all his adult life. My parents and sister Cara also had margarine.

My father, my brother and my sister Candy have all had triple by-pass surgery. My sister Cara died of heart problems. My mother has had heart problems, but only later on in life. I have just now developed heart problems!

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! If you use margarine, change over for you and your family’s health’s sake. This does not mean you need to put gobs and a gob of butter on things, but cooking with butter is much better for you than margarine. Try my test. Air pop or microwave some popcorn. Melt some margarine and pour it on some of the popcorn. Melt some butter and pour it on the rest. Look at the popcorn. Your margarine popcorn kernels will have shriveled, shrunk and melted into almost nothing. Your butter kernels will be firm and moist and yummy

Have a beautiful heart-healthy day.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nobody here at the moment

Thank goodness for that!! The last two lambs were a drain! They were hyperactive, once they warmed up and were demanding food almost every hour! I hardly got a moment’s rest!

But they were sweet and pretty. Soon-to-be-neighbor Jody was down here painting and came over to ooh and awhh over the babies; she fell in love with “Sparkles” and wants to take him home.


Sparkles (on the left) and Smokey (on the right)
Jody is feeding Sparkles

I thought you’d like to see a picture of the barn down at the Farm. They have about a dozen sheep and almost all of them have been having twins or triplets.


The white goat in the front is Festus' mommy

My boys are doing well down there – but I wish they were here. To tell the truth, I like goats better than sheep. They are smarter and have more personality. My dream (shhhhhhhhh, don’t tell Norm) is to bring them back here in the spring and keep them for burdock control for the summer.


One of the main reasons why we are having so many babies so early is that the daddies got out of their pen way too early last fall; Norm is going to reinforce the fences this spring so that HE gets to chose when babies are born. After daddy meets mommy, it’s five months to baby time. If he keeps daddy away from mommy until November, then baby will come in a little bit of warmer weather (hopefully). The biggest reason for the deaths and stresses this time is that it’s too D*(***&^^M cold for them to come this time of year!!

It’s warming up, slowly, slowly. It was in the thirties yesterday but we had a bitter wind that threatened snow all day. Today is supposed to be in the mid-twenties, and hopefully not so much cold wind.

You have a beautiful day today.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Here we go, again!


It's a lamb, Kati!!

I went to the farm Friday night with Norm so that I could check on my boys and know for sure that they were doing well (and they are).


A ewe had just had triplets a little while before we got there. One was stillborn (sigh), one was doing well and the little one was having problems. She was squeaking when she breathed, she was shivering cold and couldn’t get warm and she couldn’t stand or suck.

Pastor Mark (he and wife run the Retreat Farm) came in to see everyone and told me that there is a colostrum replacement and that he had some. So we took that home as well as about a quarter of a cup from Momma.

The stronger lamb was sucking when we left so he / she will do well. I wrapped “Squeaky” into my arms with a towel, and then wrapped us with a scarf Norm had in the truck and held her tight. She stopped shaking quite so much by the time we got the three miles home.

Norm held her while I got the heating pad and box set up, again, then we put her into the box to get warm. Her mouth was cold and so were her feet – all signs of danger.

I warmed up the real colostrum and fed it to her – I thought I’d have to use the syringe because she was so weak, but she was able to suck and scarffed down that quickly, so I fed her some of the powdered replacer. She drank almost a half-cup of that, as well, and then I put her to bed to get warm.

After two hours, I got her up, changed the bedding, fed her more of the formula and let her walk a bit. Her mouth was warm and so were her feet. She was able to walk, even on the slippery floor and so wandered around for a while.

So, she became stronger and we took her back to Momma yesterday afternoon. Momma liked her and accepted her – it’s just a matter of her being able to remember where Norm put her for food. Someone checked last night to make sure she was drinking. She knows where the heat lamp is and she is almost as strong as her sibling.

While there, we checked on the others – one ewe had triplets, one had twins. One of the triplets looked really bad, so I carried him around while Norm (and one-handed me) set up more heat lamps and re-organized temporary pens. I had the towel that Squeaky had been wrapped in, so wrapped the new baby in it. Just before we left, I decided to leave him – his mouth was warm and he was able to walk over to momma and suck.

But this morning we got a call from the Farm – one of the triplets died over night (I KNEW I should have brought him home, but he WAS sucking!), one of the other of the three was in danger and one of the twins, as well.

So Norm popped over, grabbed them and a clean box and brought them home. They are now in the box with heating pads under them, a towel over them and colostrum in their tummies. Let’s hope!!


This is "Soot" - or "Tootie Sootie," as Norm calls her. She will be mine when she is weaned! She's a lamb, Kati!

Today is going to be in the thirties, again. Hard to believe, after last week’s severe cold. It will be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A quiet house

Norm took my babies back to the Farm yesterday. I said goodbye to them as Candy and I went shopping in Mankato. When I came home, the only one there was Peanut. So I have cleaned the floor, washed all the towels and rags and am going to put the bottles and tools away for (hopefully) the next time.

Norm has promised that I can go see the boys today and I will take my camera and take pictures of their new / old home. They are tucked away in a separate pen with a heat lamp and will be fed often; they will now start nibbling on hay and drinking water, as bottle-fed babies start eating “real” food earlier than other ones. However, most kids and lambs nibble on anything in sight from the moment they are born!

It got up to +18º yesterday and is already +4º this morning! I will head out, soon, for exercise and I know it won’t be such a struggle as it normally is to go out to start the car.

Today is my cousin Kathy’s birthday. She was born on Washington’s birthday many many eons ago (actually only 2 years before I was born!). Happy birthday, Kathy, and many, many more!

My friend Moonbeam sent me pictures of the eclipse the other night. She actually went OUTSIDE in this cold winter and got some lovely pictures. Much better than I did, but then, I’m a wimp when it comes to cold weather!



It is supposed to get up to about +25º (I love that “+” sign – so much better than below 0º, don’t you think?) and little wind. It will be a beautiful day – you have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things and things

Well, last night was the coldest night of the season. It was –19º (actual temperature) at 4:00 this morning. Don’t ask me WHY I was up at 4:00 – ask Peanut or the boys!

So today was a day of postponements and canceled plans. Candy and I were going to go to Sam’s Club and do other shopping this morning, but decided to wait until tomorrow. So we figured we’d go exercise this morning, but wait until later in the morning. By 11:00 this morning, Norm said I couldn’t go (I didn’t fight him). At that time, the chill factor was still about –27º!

Anywho, yesterday, despite the cold, I went to see the heart doctor, Dr. P. He said I was doing very well and was proud of me for the exercise I was doing and that I was getting my heart rate up to about 110. I need to have it between 100 and 135. Dr. P also “upped” my beta-blocker to twice what I have been taking (and I can feel the difference already!).

As far as the babies --- Sorry, Kati, they are goats! Most sheep are not multicolored like these guys are. Candy, I like the idea of the book – I’m thinking about it and how it would work out. I need someone to draw the pictures (sister Candy, wanna try?). Festus had, possibly, a "Protracted Tendon” but he’s getting stronger by the minute. He can even jump on his hind legs!


Valentino, one week old


Festus, three days old


Three bodies helping me wash dishes


Even devoted mommies have to escape once in a while


Stairs are a challenge to be met


I think I can!


I'm going to make it to the top!


Oh, oh! I'm slipping!


Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!

Norm was going to take the boys back to the Farm today but is waiting until tomorrow because it’s too cold today, but should be “mild” tomorrow. He is going to pen them with a heat lamp so they will be able to move around more but also will be warm. I will miss them and Peanut will miss them but it will be nice to have a full night’s sleep (they do sleep all night but Peanut doesn’t! She gets up at least 3 times a night to check on them and makes me get up, too!).

And have you caught the eclipse? Jill called to make sure that we had heard about it. And fortunately we can see it from our bedroom window. There is no way in God’s Green Earth that I would go outside to see it tonight!! It’s still got a chill factor of –8º which isn’t bad, considering how cold it was this morning, but still too cold to go outside, for me!


The eclipse from the window, through the trees

It’s going to be a beautiful day tomorrow. You have a beautiful day!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Meet Festus!

Yesterday afternoon, I was watching Valentino scamper around the house. Norm came home from the Farm and I heard Valentino greet him (I thought). When I went around the corner to the kitchen, there was Norm with a wet baby in his arms – NOT Valentino!


This was the third of triplets that were born yesterday. He was kicked to the side while momma took to the other two. This is a common practice with duplicate births happen. He was cold, had not been cleaned off and unable to stand. I took him, wrapped him in a clean, dry towel and placed him immediately on a heating pad in a box. After he warmed up some, I gave him a little bit of milk replacer and the “Survive” Vitamin A oil that Norm brought home with him.

Later on yesterday afternoon, I went with Norm to the Farm to milk his Momma to get some colostrum to get into his tummy. This is the first milk that all mothers have and gives the baby special immunities and extra strength. Without it, a baby of any kind has less chance of surviving.

While we were there, Norm put Valentino’s momma on a makeshift milking stand, as we discovered that she is starting to get a bag! I milked her for her colostrum and then we went into the pen with the new baby's momma and her two other babies. These babies are about Valentino’s size, but the one at home is taller and larger than all of the others. Norm held momma and I got on my knees (oh! what a woman will do for babies!) and milked her. I got a total of half a pint of milk from the two mommas in a pint jar; Norm helped me get up from the ground and we headed home. I then gave the new baby some of the milk and fed Valentino again (early schedule, but I wanted to get the two on the same schedule).

As baby walked around, we noticed that he had a problem with his left hind leg – it didn’t seem to have any kind of control or even have an elbow (or knee?). We named him Festus after the sidekick in Gunsmoke. It’s a shame he’s a boy – his markings are so neat!!


Notice his hind leg is wonky!

Peanut is in fourteenth heaven! If she were happy with one baby, she is ecstatic with two! She seems to realize that Festus has a problem, as she has been MORE attentive, even when they are in their box (they are now sleeping together). Last night she slept next to their box instead of in her bed next to my bed and woke me up three (count them, THREE) times to tell me to come check on them!


On another note, yesterday was visiting day for Candy, Cookie and I. I discovered that Manerva lived close to Cookie’s town so made arrangements to meet her. It finally worked out to yesterday. We had a nice visit and got to know each other more. I hope that Manerva and Cookie get along – they are close in age and have a lot in common; well, we all have a lot in common. Manerva brought some of her lovely Wild Wind soap to offer as a gift. It is awesome – and you should all try at least one bar!

On the way home, we picked up Binni, Candy’s granddaughter; since there was no school today (President’s Day, and don’t let me get into THAT), she spent last night with Grandma and Grandpa. This morning after exercise, the three came over to see the babies and Binni got to feed them. She also bundled up (baby, it’s COLD again) and went out to see the chickens and gather eggs.


So, here I sit, trying to keep track of the “twins” – it’s difficult. Valentino follows me and sleeps at my feet when I’m sitting down, but Festus, already, is a handful. His leg is getting better; we all decided that it must be a tendon thing, as he is now showing a knee that bends in the correct direction and he is bouncing all over. He likes exploring and doesn’t want to rest. He fights going to bed, while Valentino says, “Okay, mom, I’m tired!”


Sleeping in the sunshine
Under the computer table

I was told, yesterday, to remember that these boys are “just animals!” Well, animals they may be, but they were made by God just as we two-legged animals were and are precious in God’s sight. I am doing all I can to get them healthy and keep them healthy. They will have to (sigh) go back to the Farm, but will go back as healthy babies and grow up enjoying life.

So, on this cold (again!) day, you have a beautiful day!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Okay, here’s the deal!

Sweet Valentino is NOT mine!! (Everyone say it all together … “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!”) I knew he was a foster child when Norm brought him home, but was hoping and praying that I could keep him.

However, I have promised to let him go when *I* say he’s ready and it’s safe to take him back – probably the end of next week. And I have promised to not cry, whine, scream, yell or beg IF Norm promises to bring me lambs and/or kids that are even LOOKING like they are in danger.

Since Norm is the prime animal care person at the Farm, when he’s not there, sometimes things go by the wayside and too many babies have “gone by the wayside.” I have objected before, but now I have a lever - bring them home to me or suffer with my nagging (and, boy, can I NAG!!! – Just ask Norm!).

But for now, he’s mine! And he knows it! Now that is he stronger, he follows me around a lot – which makes it difficult for pictures! And Peanut still says that he’s her baby and cleans him up when he messes and washes his face.

Now to day one and a half – I’ve had him since Thursday afternoon and he has gone through amazing progress.

When he came, he was in his box, covered with towels, shivering and shaking. I gave him the lamb / goat replacer formula in a syringe because I had no bottle (can’t find the ones I have saved from before) and because he couldn’t suck, anyway. By bedtime that night, he was able to suck the formula out of the syringe by himself – I didn’t have to push the plunger down.

Candy loaned me a baby bottle on Friday morning when we met at exercise. He was able to drink a little bit from the bottle, but not too well.

Soon-to-be-neighbor, Jody, came down from the cities – and she happened to have handy (where she could find it before she came down) a baby goat / lamb nipple that is much smaller and easier to use that those humungous big black calf nipples!

So, with the new nipple, Valentino is drinking much better and is up to three-fourths of a cup of formula per feeding, which is about every four hours (but during the night it was six hours!).

Being much stronger, he is spending more time out of his box walking around before going back to bed. I let him wander and explore in the kitchen until he starts to lie down, showing that he’s tired. This morning it was almost an hour between the time I got him up (he was awake and fussing) and the time he lay down to say he was ready for his bed. He has been running, a bit, jumping, a bit, and even trying to butt Peanut, some!!

And now he’s sleeping. Peanut is, as well. Being a foster momma is hard WORK, she says!! She loves him, though! She woke me up several times both Thursday night and last night to check on him. And has gone outside to scare away any bears that might, just MIGHT, be thinking of sneaking up and taking her baby. When Jody came by yesterday, Peanut was almost vicious at the door! She wants NO-ONE to steal her baby!

I hope to have more pictures tomorrow. I will need a lot of them to remind me of this precious time with a precious young life.

It will be a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine’s Day (again!)

Norm brought me a present tonight and I thought I’d share!

This is Valentino; he is about 30 hours old. His Momma is a youngster, way too young to have a baby, but then, how many times do we tell these young teenagers and they don’t listen?


Now, Norm says he goes back to the farm when he’s back to being healthy but I don’t THINK so! He will stay here with me cause I’m the only one who can properly take care of him, right? Plus, Peanut thinks he’s pretty special, too!



Jody, soon-to-be-neighbor, is coming from the cities tonight, so she’s bringing a premie goat bottle / nipple for me to feed him. Right now I’m feeding him with a syring because he is too weak to use a normal lamb / goat nipple.

While I was getting supper ready (Candy and Wayne came over for French Onion Soup and Swiss Cheese and Ham toasted on Rye), Eric called. He has done a random act of kindness, as well, today. He found a bird outside and captured it; he is now looking for the owner but will take it to a Shelter if he can’t find the owner.


Animal rescues all over the place!! Wayne rescued a woodpecker this afternoon that had hit their window and was so stunned it was freezing to death!!

A beautiful (but cold) day tomorrow. You have a beautiful day!

Happy Valentine's Day!


This card is much prettier than the view out my window - snow, wind and it's cold, again! It got up to 22º yesterday, but now is 12º and he temperature is dropping!!

Stay warm and cuddle your loved ones!!! Have a loving, beautiful day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One mile!!

I made it! Yesterday I kept on the treadmill, faster than before, until I hit the one-mile mark!! OOFTA!! But what a good feeling, as I fell off the treadmill and crawled to my next “post.” I have started some upper-body exercises, now, and am slowly building a little bit more in the weights every day.

Yesterday morning was brutal going out to the van and starting on the trip to the exercise place. But by afternoon it had gotten above zero and the wind had dropped. This morning it is actually seven degrees ABOVE zero and NO WIND CHILL!! I should put that in red … NO WIND CHILL!!!! The temperature is supposed to climb this week to up to about twenty degrees, dip to zero on Friday and then climb again. This stretch of below zero was about forty-seven hours long, but not even close to the record, which ran close to two hundred hours one year!! Guess we are lucky!! We were “promised” snow, but just got a dusting over night. It is snowing lightly right now and the snow is coming STRAIGHT DOWN!!


My view on Sunday - bitter winds, little bit of snow and bitter cold

Other than that, not much has been going on – trying to keep warm has been the main focus of life around here. The house has been reasonably warm, but we have had to shut the corn stove down and use propane most morning to boost the heat above sixty degrees, then shut it down and start the corn stove up again. We are looking towards SPRING and all the joys that come with it.

Did you watch Westminster last night? In my family, MOST of the family watches the dog show and MOST of them will not miss it. It was hard to watch and not call Jill and say “Look who won!” She is two hours behind me and would not have seen the show, yet, so it would have spoiled it for her. Not only that, she had to record the dog show to watch later, as she and Eric went out to celebrate. A game that Eric and some others designed for their schoolwork was chosen to be used in advertising for the school!! Congratulations, Eric! Way to go!!

Kati from Alaska gave me this award (thank you, Kati) and I would like to pass it on to the following:


Candy D from New York, who shows the love of family throughout her blog; Tracey, who shows her love for family and mustangs; Carla Lynne, who just radiates love; my daughter, Joy, who shows love of family (and because I love her!); and two non-bloggers (if that's legal), daughter Jill and son-in-law Eric - their love for me has been shown in many different ways this past year (and before).

My mother reminded me of a comment that Nana (my mother’s mother) used to say: “The weather is moderating.” No matter what the weather was doing, it was always “moderating.” So, you have a beautiful “moderating” day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is it nine years, already?

Nine years ago, I lost my sister, Cara. It’s hard to believe it’s only been nine years, but still it’s hard to believe it has been nine years. Times are, I think it was just yesterday; other times, it feels like a hundred years ago.

Not that I think of her every day, but not a week goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her. Then the ache feels fresh and raw.

So, nine years ago, I got a phone call from my father, in the hospital with Cara; we drove out faster than Norm has ever driven, with me pushing the car to go faster, faster, faster! I spent the last hours of her life holding her hand and talking to her, even though she couldn’t answer me back. But I know she heard me. But then she left.

Cara does come to me in dreams, occasionally and she is always smiling and laughing. Sometimes in my dreams, I know she is dead and sometimes she has come back to life but is living a secluded life and we have to go visit her. The last time she visited me, it was just before Candy and I went to the folks to help them move. Cara had a message for me to tell everyone but like a dummy, I didn’t write it down when I woke up and so I couldn’t remember it.

However, when all of us were together for the first supper in the folk’s new apartment, Mom mentioned Cara was missing, I could assure her that Cara WAS with us – we just couldn’t see her!

I have lost my sister, my friend, my mentor, my guide in life. Cara was, first of all, a little sister, then a friend. After adulthood, Cara became wiser than me and began guiding and mentoring me on a new road through life. How did a little sister become so wise?

Cara was clever, wise, witty, and downright funny. She made me laugh, she made me think, she made me do things I didn’t WANT to do. She left a hole in my heart, a hole in the family. I want her BACK!! I miss her so much!

Nine years is too long to be separated!


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Today started out at 26º but has dropped in 6 hours to 9º. It was snowing for awhile, but that is over and we have sun but lots of wind. However, I am prepared to last out at least a month of being snowed in, if the chicken feed will hold out. We have enough food for us and for Peanut and enough corn for a month for heat, and now I have enough to keep me from being bored (as if ever!).

My dad sent me some of the videos that they are getting rid of, so I have new (or old, treasured) movies to watch.

But, I also got a “HOLY COW!!!!!!” in the mail today (delivered to the door, as the box of videos wouldn’t fit in the mail box). My youngest children, Jill and Eric, sent me the whole set (the WHOLE set) of Harry Potter for a late birthday present!!! HOLY COW!

Now, I have read two of the books but every time I try to get a new one from the library, the books are out. My only contact is the movies. Although they are good, they still are not QUITE the same and I have wanted to read the others. Now I can!!! Now I can really treasure them. In my mind, they are delightful fantasy, right up there with Narnia. All kinds of fun things that are not truly magic but something that would be fun to have. Wouldn’t you like to have a “Puter-Outer” to turn off all your lights without having to walk over and flick a switch?

So on this chilly day, Peanut and I will cuddle up and read (well, she’ll sleep) in the bright sunshine and not mind the wind howling. Thank you, kids!!! A wonderful gift and a great thought!

You have a beautiful day!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Groundhog day!

I forgot to mention it last week! How was YOUR ground hog? Did he/she see the sun? Our groundhog, “Ash Lane Annie” didn’t see the sun (surely you believe we have a groundhog? With all our rabbits and possums, I KNOW we have to have a groundhog somewhere!) so we are counting 6 weeks to see if it is for real. Jessica and I decided where Ash Lane Annie lives – and after we decided, Jessica commented that I had made Annie up because I said “I think she’ll live here!” Now, why would she say something like that? Of COURSE there’s an Annie! ………… Somewhere!!!

We HAVE had fog and frost for almost a week. It’s beautiful to look at and sometimes we even get some sun with it. But no really snow to speak of – several people near by are getting it, but it is missing us.


Cottonwood tree in the north east corner


Our grove, on a very foggy, foggy day

Exercise is going well. I did about .65 mile (POINT 65) on the treadmill today, speeding up the speed and walking a minute longer than on Wednesday. Also, Candy started me on lifting weights with those machines .. and brother, are my arms and shoulders sore!! My goal is to hit 1 mile (no POINT) by next Friday. Eric called today to check on how I was doing (and said he was proud of me) and we had a lovely chat – we don't talk often enough!

On another note, I have had over 15,000 visitors since I started on Blogspot nearly 2 years ago! Wow!! What a huge number!! Thank you all for visiting me and leaving such wonderful comments!

It is supposed to get cold and windy again, with a wind chill of about –25º to –35º by tomorrow afternoon!!! Brrrrrrrrr! But it is a beautiful day today. You have a beautiful day.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

And it didn’t!! We had snow yesterday – promises of up to 6” but not in the morning. Candy and I decided to brave the elements and head to exercises. We tiptoed over, each in our own vans, and enjoyed about 45 minutes of warmth and companionship. Then crawled back home. I saw a car in the ditch right outside of town, so I slowed down even more. The roads were snow-packed and slippery. I had a hard time seeing the yellow line in the middle because the snow was packed so well. But we both made it home safely! Hopefully the roads will be better tomorrow for our next venture forth.
But we made it! Didn’t let a little weather stop us in our plans! I walked on the treadmill, did some time on a bicycle, and then some time on what is called a “cross-trainer” – you recline and do stair stepping motions and pump your arms as well. I had walked 10 minutes on the treadmill on Friday – yesterday I made it 15 minutes (and made it .5 mile*). Just before I left, I went back on the treadmill and did a slower pace for about 5 minutes and did another .15 mile*.

*Please note the “point” there – it’s not “5 miles”, but “POINT 5” – ½ mile!!*


Fitness center

Joy and the girls came down this weekend for a lovely warm, crafty weekend. Ashley headed directly to “her” spinning wheel. She knows where the wool is that she is allowed to spin. Jessica headed to the looms. I allowed her to weave on my demonstration loom, which kept her content all weekend. Joy and I discussed her taking my extra wheel home, as long as she brought it back when I had lessons. However, she fell in love with “Minnie Mouse” – Norm tuned up the wheel and Joy spent most of the weekend spinning on her. I told Joy she could take the wheel home if she remembered that it was a LOAN and that the wheel is at least 150 years old. We did not tell Ashley that the wheel was going home; when they left, I told her to look at the passenger strapped in the front seat. She came flying back into the house shouting “No WAY!!!”


Joy on "Minnie Mouse"


Plying yarn


Roving, dyed by Candy

So now Ashley and Joy have a wheel to fight about and share. Both are very good at the drop spindle so they should be able to share easily. Jessica is another matter. Ashley has a loom that she got when she was 10, so now we need to have one for Jessica. Not sure what we will do about that!


Jessica is making French Toast


Ashley is studying Minnesota History


Cribbage tournament

Now it is a beautifully snowy day; Norm has gotten my cross-country skis out of the garage and I need to find my boots. Once found, then I will wait for it to warm up a bit (there’s a chill factor of –5º right now) and go out to ski for a while. You have a beautiful day!


Sunset on Ground Hog Day

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Another farewell

Lil, a sweet cat, came to my sister Candy as a stray kitten, back in South Dakota. A little over two years ago, Candy let me take her here at Ash Lane because they were “downsizing” animals in preparation for the move out here. I kept her and enjoyed her here until this summer.

Wayne was commenting about how much he missed Lil, so I allowed them to take her BACK to Anniversary Grove, where she settled in quickly and enjoyed a good life over there. I was able to see her and love her there when I went to visit.

This winter she developed some kind of tumor on her tail area and slowly went downhill. This past week was her last.

We will miss her sweet face, her sweet temperament and her great mouse-ing abilities. Rest in peace, Lil!